Convergence without Accession? Explaining Policy Change in EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood
Tanja A. Börzel, Julia Langbein – 2013
This edited volume discusses and challenges the conventional wisdoms dominating the scholarship on policy change in the EU's Eastern neighbourhood countries. Drawing upon new empirical evidence underpinning the contributions to this volume, the authors argue that compliance with, or convergence to, EU policies continue despite high costs, limited capacities and the lack of EU membership prospects. The contributions also challenge country-level or policy-type explanations that emphasise membership aspirations, asymmetric interdependencies between the EU and the neighbourhood countries, or the level of politicisation or institutionalisation characterising particular policy fields. Finally, the volume’s findings point towards important differences between membership, accession and neighbourhood Europeanisation by highlighting factors that have been ignored by students of EU enlargement. These factors include the role of Russia, which is an important regional power, and of transnational actors such as multinational companies or international finance institutions, as well as the impact of informal domestic veto players on policy change in the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood.